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RE: Issues with cryptosporidium......

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Posted by: Kelly_Haller at Mon May 10 01:19:16 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Kelly_Haller ]  
   

Ian,
Physical staining with an acid-fast stain is the most common method for most vets because it doesnít require the time and serious equipment needed for the more sensitive methods such as serology testing for the antibodies developed by the host against crypto, or immunofluorescence where these antibodies are marked biochemically with fluorescent dye. I have never personally used any of these more advanced techniques, and have been limited to the physical stains. I donít believe I have ever seen a negative sample on an animal that was showing the classic symptoms, but I believe you are correct and I have seen intermittent negatives with asymptomatic carriers. It has been said that in the early stages, the acid-fast stains may miss oocysts that would have been identified by the other more sensitive methods.

Mike,
Isolation of the various bacterial species within a sample is not simple, and to make it easier, you usually target the testing to isolate specific ones that are expected to be present and that are known pathogens. To identify other species that you are not specifically looking for is much more time consuming. In a nutshell, testing involves various steps in differential staining and the use of a series of selective growth media to further isolate the species.

I am surprised that a mid-body lump is not detectable in a snake this small and slender. However, in the very early stages, the lump is sometimes absent. To acquire crypto, this snake either had to be exposed to food or caging material contaminated with the oocysts, or exposed somehow to another snake that was a carrier. This exposure could even have been indirect in that a person could handle an infected snake at another location and transport the oocysts on their skin back to their collection and infect one of their snakes by handling it later that day. I still feel that there is a small possibility that it is bacterial. One thing you might ask the vet is if they feel a regimen of Cipro might be worth a try at this point. I have seen it work well on several snakes that were regurgitating from bacterial enteritis. Under the current circumstances I donít believe that it is going to cause much in the way of any additional problems, but they may see it differently and I would be curious as to their take on it.

Kelly


   

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